We’ve featured the event before, so we needed a new angle for this article about Festivale 2013. Previously, we’ve attended on Saturday during daylight hours. So this year, we went along on Friday evening, the opening night of the festival. And guess what… we had an equally impressive time! No matter when you go, it’s undoubtedly one of the great things to do in Tasmania.

Festivale 2013 - Funkin Unbelievable
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Festivale 2013 – Funkin’ Unbelievable on stage on Friday evening

Festivale 2013: Tasmanian Food and Wine

We really hope the winner of our Festivale 2013 giveaway enjoyed the event too. It would be hard not to enjoy such a stunning location… City Park in Launceston could not be more perfect for a food and wine festival.


 

There was room to move, despite a very large crowd. Lots of green lawn with shady trees, perfect for picnic blankets; and plenty of tables and chairs spread around the venue. Some really clever and organised people had brought their own folding chairs, and a few even had tables. We must remember that idea for next year.

Festivale 2013 - Launceston City Park
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Launceston City Park is a stunning venue for Festivale in Tasmania

Parking on Friday evening was a breeze. With so many people in attendance, we were very surprised to find a space for the car about 200 metres from the entrance. Maybe patrons leave their cars at home so they’re free to sample the multitude of wine, cider, whisky and beer on offer? There was certainly a variety of unique and interesting flavours to taste, with Festivale 2013 wine glasses sold in two sizes.

Festivale 2013 - Wine
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Choose the size of your souvenir Festivale wine glass… and fill it up!

Tasmanian Food and Drink in Launceston City Park

The beverage selection far outweighed that of food, but there was still something to please everyone. We spoke with three gorgeous ladies from Brisbane in Queensland to gauge their opinion of Festivale. They enjoyed their evening enough to be planning a return visit on the Sunday. Two from the group were vegetarians (one of those also gluten intolerant) and they were drawn to the Garden of Vegan stall.

Festivale 2013 - Food and Wine
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Palak, Janine and Honnie from Brisbane enjoy Festivale 2013 in Launceston Tasmania

Gavin chose chilli mussels because he loves seafood. He was also on a mission to buy cider for me; one stall sold mussels and cider, making the decision much easier. As the night wore on, coffee and desserts were sourced and enjoyed.

Festivale 2013 - Seafood & Cider
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Gavin enjoys a dinner of chilli mussels at Festivale

Festivale 2013 - Dessert
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Panna cotta for dessert, just one of the many sweet selections available

Stephanie Alexander was on hand, acting as judge for the Festivale Best Stall Awards. And speaking of awards, don’t forget to enter your images for a chance to win the Festivale Photography Prize (only open until February 15, so be super quick).


Music and Entertainment

The music was awesome. The Bomb Squad were just wrapping up when we arrived, and by 7:15pm the Fabulous Picasso Brothers were on stage. I can’t guarantee they’re brothers, but I would agree they were fabulous. Following them… Funkin’ Unbelievable. By this stage, the Queensland girls were up and dancing!

Festivale 2013 - Fabulous Picasso Brothers
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The Fabulous Picasso Brothers play at Festivale 2013

There was a $20 entrance fee charged for the Friday evening session of Festivale 2013, which seems reasonable. Kids under 14 are free, which we always love to see at Think Tasmania. Roving entertainers provide extra amusement, if you need more than food, wine and music. Lionel and Ritchie, a pair of lions from Almost Tame were funny and cheeky. The lion-tamer was actually on stilts, which is pretty damn clever.

Festivale 2013 - Roving Entertainers
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Roving entertainers Almost Tame are a hit with children and adults at Festivale 2013

All in all, a great night. Well worth the quick trip from Hobart to Launceston and definitely something we’d do again, given the chance.

Think Tasmania were guests of the Festivale 2013 committee.
For this visit to the region, we stayed at Hawthorn Villa Stables
accommodation in Carrick, an easy 15-minute drive from Launceston.

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Map: Festivale 2013, City Park Launceston